1. Beach Time (of course!)
Because of the 7 glorious miles of white beach this is the number one activity on Anna Maria Island, and for good reason.
Boasting soft sugar-white sand with the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico lapping its shores, the beach offers boundless opportunities for every type of beach lover. Whether you prefer to sunbathe and people watch, walk for miles, collect shells or watch the many types of sea birds every type of beach activity can be fulfilled.
There are many beaches to choose from. Manatee and Coquina Public Beaches offer activities like volleyball as well as facilities and restaurants – ideal for the day tripper. For those that want a quieter beach experience there are countless beach access points at the west end of most of the east-west streets on the island that will land you away from the public beaches.
No visit to Anna Maria Island would be complete without a visit to the famous Bean Point on the north end of the island. It’s beauty is often written and spoken about, and because it is a little harder to get to you just might find yourself alone there.
2. Take a Boat Tour!
There are countless types of boat tours and countless tour providers. One of the most popular types of tours is dolphin spotting tours. Dolphins are plentiful around the island and seem to love putting on a show at every opportunity -a ton of fun! You can also join a snorkeling tour to Egmont Key and experience sea life up close.
There are also island tours, a nice way to see the island from a different perspective. Or maybe a romantic sunset tour is what you would enjoy. All these choices and more are waiting for you.
Though not technically a tour, for the fishing enthusiasts in your group, there are several fishing charters with very experienced captains available to take you out to wherever the fish are biting depending on the time of year.
3. Fish from a pier!
There are 2 piers on Anna Maria Island – the Anna Maria City Pier and the Bridge Street Pier in Bradenton Beach. Both piers have a blanket fishing license, so no need to get your own. Everything needed to try your hand at fishing is available including poles, bait and plenty of friendly advice.
If you’re not a keen fisher but love to be a spectator you’ll have lots to watch too. Plus you’re out in the sunshine enjoying the salt air – That’s a win-win!
4. Ride Bikes!
You can get around anywhere you want to go on the island by bike, so it’s a great mode of transportation.
Do you remember riding bikes just for fun? You can rediscover that feeling cruising along the charming streets. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the eclectic mix of new and old architecture, tropical landscaping and happy colors.
And trying to find parking while beach hopping? Not a problem on a bike. Visit every mile of the 7 miles of sparkling sand.
5. Get Wet!
There is no end to water activities. Jet skiing ✅, parasailing ✅, kayaking ✅, stand up paddle boarding ✅. You’re in Florida after all!
Get out on the water and explore all that Anna Maria Island has to offer.
6. Shop Until You Drop!
Each of the 3 cities that make up Anna Maria Island have unique shopping.
Anna Maria is home to famous Pine Ave with its many charming boutique stores and numerous restaurants. Spend the afternoon walking along from beach to bay.
Holmes Beach is lucky to have numerous beach shops, fantastic restaurants as well as the island’s hub of Publix, CVS and Walgreens. Perfect for everything you need to stock up your vacation rental.
Bradenton Beach’s lively Bridge St. is fun for the whole family. Pick up a souvenir, buy a tropical sundress, grab a tasty meal or play a round of mini golf.
7. Park The Car And Drive A Golf Cart!
Let the salty breeze whip your hair and drive around the island in style. Golf carts can be driven on any road with a sped limit of 35 mph or less ~ fortunately that is pretty much every road on Anna Maria Island!
Because golf carts are a popular mode of transportation on the island many businesses provide plugs to recharge, so there’s no worry about running out of power. So go ahead, dine with your toes in the sand and take your Island style transportation back to your place after.
8. Enjoy The Arts!
Anna Maria Island is home to many artists, so it makes sense that there are several art galleries on the island. Browse and enjoy paintings, photographs, jewelry, one-of-a-kind wearable art and more. Take a little piece of the island home with you. Pictures above is AL’s Art Studio on Pine Ave in Anna Maria.
If theater is your interest, The Island Players Theater has been putting on productions throughout the year for more than 60 years.
9. Fill up!
The options for dining are limitless. From family friendly dining to Zagat rated establishments, they’re all available. Anything from casual beach restaurants (like The Sandbar above), to pizza places, to romantic candle-lit tables for two.
You’re on holiday! Take a break from the kitchen and let somebody else do the work.
10. Festivals, Festivals, Festivals!
There are many festivals and celebrations all year long. Christmas on Bridge St (there’s a lighted boat parade!), Bayfest (pictured above), Food and Wine on Pine, artsHOP (including Symphony in the Sand), and The Stone Crab Festival (stone crab season runs from November till May) are just a few. Plan your stay around your favorite.
Would you like to visit Anna Maria Island? We’d love to host you at Blue Turtle Cottage – a renovated 3 bedroom home with a private pool just steps from the sugar-white sand Anna Maria Island is famous for.